Is it legal for an employer to watch his employees through video surveillance at his home?


i work in the mall in NC and my employer, also the owner of the store, watches us through the cameras that are in the store from his house. he apparently can pull them up on the internet or something and watch us live?? he will sometimes call the store and ask questions like "why has this person been in the back for so long?" or "i see yall haven’t been busy since you’re just standing around behind the counter". i find this very creepy and strange and kind of an invasion of my personal space.

is this legal?? if not, what are the reason behind this? if somebody feels the need to waste their time watching their employees during the day, why don’t they just go to the store and work themselves?

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14 Responses to Is it legal for an employer to watch his employees through video surveillance at his home?

  1. Girl says:

    The legality may differ by state but it is legal in Washington State. I have cameras in all my offices and can log into the server anywhere, including my bberry if I need to. This issue should not be about the legality but about the trust and respect that you show your staff. The cameras are not there to spy on employees, and that is certainly not the reason for the law. They are there for employee security and to ensure all merchandise and individuals in or out of the location are safe at all times. The cameras are a loss prevention tool, not to spy on employees. Employees lose respect and commitment to a company when they feel they are not trusted. People never let you down and when you expect them to fail, they usually do. Unfortunately it looks like your boss will learn this the hard way because it sounds like you are not happy. Happy employees make productive employees.

  2. Zaltakar says:

    I dont’ know but I would say no

  3. sgoldperson says:

    Why wouldn’t it be legal? It’s no different then having security watch you.

  4. chris at hornchurch says:

    depends on the contract of employment and law of the land etc. here you need to get legal advise as situations can vary but it sounds like it has gone to far and unless it was agreed to at start of employment is probably ? illegal.

  5. Well Duh! says:

    Yes, it’s his store.

  6. Bibigirl says:

    It’s in a public place where he is paying you to work. Most stores have surveillance cameras in and outside, it is 100% legal.

  7. Monica says:

    i don’t know about the laws in NC but here in OKC it is legal.

  8. mike says:

    yes it is legal.

    my wife and i had surveillance cameras in our laundromat and could watch them through the internet.

    it was perfectly legal and we caught several burglars and other thieves that way.

    we also often got a great show when people thought that there was nobody looking.

    the cameras were in plain sight (required in our state) and we got to watch a girl smoking her boyfriend on our system one evening.

    people will do almost anything in public if they think they will get away with it.

  9. melabones36000 says:

    Well first off he owns the store moron. He wants to make sure nothing bad is happening and wants to check up on his employees. He’s allowed to do that even if it is from his house. You’re just upset that he is watching you and that you can’t just stand around and do nothing. Quit complaining and do some work.

  10. David S says:

    Yes, it’s legal whether he watches it from the back office or from anywhere else. As long as he doesn’t have cameras in the bathroom or changing rooms, it is perfectly legal. Btw, it’s not an invasion of your personal space to observe you in his place of business.

  11. Common says:

    Of course its legal. At work, you have ZERO expectation of privacy outside of the changing rooms or bathroom. You’re in public and at your employer’s place of business. How your employer chooses to monitor his/her employees is up to them.

    As for why he "doesn’t just show up during the day", I can only guess that the owner is pretty busy. I’m assuming this isn’t his/her only store or business, so he probably has to keep track of multiple things over the course of the day. You can’t be everywhere at once, but with the video you can monitor several properties simultaneously.

    If you don’t like it, then quit.

  12. Jonathan says:

    Personally I do not think it is illegal as it is just taking advantage of technology to monitor over the employees. Since the employer is the boss, instead of going to the office to watch over the employees, he can do it at the comfort of his/her home.
    Jonathan recently posted..Using Security Cameras and Surveillance Systems in Parking LotsMy Profile

  13. Kelty says:

    Is it illegal if your boss takes his laptop out of town then sits in his hotel room watching you, then has one if his guests that is with him phone you at the store telling you not to do this or that laughing? This guest having nothing to do with the company whatsoever, he is only along for the ride?

  14. Scott says:

    I’m not sure it’s illegal or not, but it sounds like your employer is not being very professional. You may want to discuss this with your HR manager.


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